Accessibility in the cloud the benefits and barriers
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Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers Dr Scott HOLLIER Presentation for OzeWAI November 2009 Introduction Cloud computing: what is it? Benefits and barriers of the cloud Addressing the cloud access issues MAA and RMIT research initiative Access trends

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Accessibility in the cloud the benefits and barriers l.jpg

Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers

Dr Scott HOLLIER

Presentation for OzeWAI November 2009


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • Cloud computing: what is it?

  • Benefits and barriers of the cloud

  • Addressing the cloud access issues

  • MAA and RMIT research initiative


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Access trends

  • Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard significantly improved access features

  • Netbooks cloud-focused

  • Free AT: NVDA and WebAnywhere

  • iPhone: many access features


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Cloud computing

  • Internet-based development and delivery of computing technologies

  • Removes the need for the user to worry about physical computing infrastructure


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Types of cloud computing

  • Software as a service (SaaS)

  • Platform as a service (PaaS): app creation

  • Database as a service

  • Utility computing (storage)

  • Web services: developer contribution

  • Managed: cloud task before user

  • Commerce platforms: SaaS + managed

  • Internet integration: all combined


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Popular cloud examples

  • Mainstream cloud generally refers to SaaS and Utility, although future PaaS and Integrated likely

  • Current examples: Google Apps, web-based e-mail, Apple MobileMe, Amazon Kindle

  • Future examples: Windows Azure, Chrome OS


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Benefits of the cloud

  • Device-independence: most accessible devices can be used to access the cloud

  • Ease of use: no need to worry about hardware issues

  • Data security: lost or stolen devices do not mean lost or stolen data

  • Affordability: netbooks, free AT and SaaS equal affordable computing


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Benefits of the cloud

  • Collaboration:

    • Overcome mobility issues

    • Disability perceived differently

    • Access to new services: health, education through NBN

    • Share experiences with family and friends

    • Crossover with social media (Google Docs)


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Barriers of the cloud

  • Broadband access poor

  • Steep learning curve

  • Data security: hacking potential 24/7, and can we really trust service providers?


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Barriers of the cloud

  • Accessibility of the cloud itself:

    • Extremely hit-and-miss

    • Is it web? Is it application? Research still needed on how to make cloud accessible

    • Closest standards: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 (draft), but not cloud-specific


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Addressing the issues

  • Broadband (NBN rollout)

    • Universal availability

    • Quality of service: speed, reliability

    • Regulation: broadband as essential service

    • Affordability: how will NBN pricing work?

    • Service offerings: clarity for bundle plans

    • Equipment: public kiosks for NBN access

    • Support programs: training


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Addressing the issues

  • Research initiatives for cloud access

    • Joint research between MAA and RMIT

    • Ultimate question: how can we provide cloud access to people with disabilities?

    • Work with both users and developers of the cloud and their respective technologies

    • Create metadata

    • Feed results into standards creation process


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Further information

  • Large collection of web resources: www.mediaaccess.org.au/newmedia

  • Advice is free

  • E-mail: [email protected]

  • Phone: (02) 9212 6242


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